WIW Parisian Chic: my attempt (and GP twist)

I'm late to the Parisian Chic bandwagon, but I was out shopping for Christmas presents and spied a copy on a table at Barnes and Noble and couldn't resist getting one for myself! :)

My thoughts after reading the book:
1) I should give navy another chance. I had been ignoring neutrals like navy and black lately in favor of brighter colors.
2) I should give Euro chic another chance. I never felt that I could do Euro chic because I don't have the coloring or sophisticated air for it. And the colors tend to be very neutral and drab. And I worry that the look can be too classic or preppy or boring on me. However, I'm willing to try it so here's my take, with a little GP-style twist, haha!
3) Wardrobe hole: I need some red ballet flats! :)

What do you think--does this work on me? Should I explore Euro chic some more?

1. I loved my rust Tulle cropped peacoat so much I couldn't resist picking it up in navy as well during a recent Christmas shopping trip. It's $58 from the junior's section at Nordstrom. It has a detachable hood in the back and a cool coordinating navy houndstooth lining. Also, I just bought these ivory AG stevie skinny cords on sale at Anthro--extra 50% off sale price which brought it down to $59 as well. The orange-y red shirt is an old Ann Taylor knit sleeveless mock neck shell that has held up well for many years. The color is in between rust and red. And my red Fossil tote and bronze Born flats.
3. Holding my copy of Parisian Chic. ;-)
4. I had to throw in a little something to keep me from getting bored with myself, so I decided to pull out this Paul Frank purse. I used to collect these pre-kids and this one is my favorite. I haven't even used it because it was expensive and collectible and came with the tags on (it isn't worth as much once you take the tags off and use it). But now I'm thinking of just ripping the tag off and using it, because otherwise why keep it? It's a Paul Frank Shag purse with a tres chic Julius the monkey sitting in a cafe near the Eiffel Tower and his mod French girlfriend on her Vespa. What better bag to celebrate Parisian Chic?
5. The jacket open. I think the top may be too short with these jeans to wear the jacket open though.
6. The prize bag. Should I actually use this or is it too silly/kitschy to wear in real life? I can wear it in an "I'm being ironic and cool" way, LOL! This would be for casual/MOTG, not for work, obviously. But if you like these fun purses, I have plenty more where that came from if you want to see more! :-)


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WIW 12/27: Tory Burch rust and cobalt A-line midi skirt

This is a followup to my prior Tory Burch K/R thread:

I decided to keep the Radnor rust and cobalt A-line midi skirt and the Erin navy and white shirtdress. The skirt is so cool with the shimmery cobalt and rust in a honeycomb pattern. It almost looks like fish scales. Everything else got sent back today including the cardigans and Hull skirt (sorry CocoLion!). I couldn't wait to wear the skirt! At first I thought it looked too frumpy in the A line silhouette and that I would only keep it if I had it altered to be a pencil shape. But the A line look is growing on me, so now I'm not sure. I wore it today, and I realized that it might be tough to narrow it, because then it might be too tight to hop up into the car easily or move around. I don't have many A line skirts, so it would fill a relative wardrobe hole (not that I'm lacking for skirts, haha). What do you guys think, leave as is or try to get it narrowed into a pencil shape?

I paired it with a super old INC rust mock turtleneck that I've had for almost 20 years so it's a little faded and the neck seam is developing a tiny hole, but it is such a perfect color for me that I'm still hanging onto it as long as I can. And over that I wore my Halogen black plaid wool zippered peacoat that kind of looks like a moto jacket. I like the A line better here (as opposed to with the cardigans I posted it with in the last thread) because of the nipped in waist from the jacket. And then I wore grey ribbed tights and my favorite Chie Mihara rust sandals. I did a lot of walking/shopping (mainly returning stuff) and my feet were still pretty comfy for wearing 3.5 inch heels...the Chie's are amazingly comfortable heels! And I really like wearing this skirt too!

Comments and suggestions welcome!


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Closet Nirvana: complete wardrobe inventory and organization pics!

Anyone wanna peek in my closet?

I joined YLF in July (after I started wardrobe shopping for the first time in 5 years since having kids) and now that six months have passed, I think I am finally done! As in my wardrobe is pretty complete and organized now. I did a major purge a few months ago and organized my closet by type and color. And now I have done some additional re-organizing of some shelves & bought some accessory organizers at Container Store so now it's super organized. But my closet is getting rather full now. I just counted up all the pieces in my wardrobe and I am shocked! I guess I now have what would be considered a very large wardrobe. It's nearing 300 items total, not even counting loungewear/PJs/swimsuits/underwear! I'd say probably at least half of that is new items from the last six months. So, is that "OMG you're crazy" huge, or is that still within reason? Well, I guess the new year will be a good time for me to go on SYC/SYB!

Here is an inventory of what I have and some pics of my closet. Mainly doing this to be accountable to myself so I don't continue to accumulate--as fun as it is to shop, I don't have any more room and I won't be able to wear all my fab clothes as often as I'd like if I keep buying more stuff! This was a great exercise to take stock of what I have so I don't keep buying more of the same item, and to see what my relative wardrobe holes are.

I have half a walk-in closet, plus a five-drawer dresser. I don't separate clothes by season as it's pretty much always 50's-70's and often foggy year round here, so my main season is fall. Biggest discovery from my inventory--I have tons of skirts and dresses and outerwear and am relatively lacking in cardigans, shorts, and "nice" T shirts and loungewear (as opposed to souvenir dive T shirts and pajama bottoms ;-)). I'm also struck by how relatively balanced the numbers are and how evenly everything is laid out in my closet in terms of linear space per category. Looking at the list, I feel like everything is balanced pretty evenly within each category too (tops vs. bottoms, skirts vs. pants, skinny jeans vs. bootcuts, skinny belts vs. wide belts, etc). I didn't plan it that way, but I kinda like the symmetry!

Closet size--10 feet in length overall.
12 linear feet of clothes, 28 linear feet of shoes, 4 linear feet of accessories:
2 feet of short sleeve/sleeveless tops
2 feet of long sleeve tops
2 feet of skirts
2 feet of cashmere sweaters (in a basket)
1 foot of pants
1 foot of jackets
1 foot of coats
1 foot of dresses
8 feet of boots
20 feet of shoes
2 feet of accessories
2 feet of purses
5 drawer dresser: one drawer each for bras/underwear/socks, T shirts, shorts/jeans, PJs/swimsuits, and cotton sweaters/sweatshirts/ponchos

Inventory--total number of items 295 (not including lingerie and loungewear/PJs)
62 tops:
48 shirts: 9 sleeveless blouses/tops, 2 tank tops, 4 (nice) short sleeve T shirts, 11 short sleeve blouses/tops, 15 long sleeve blouses, 7 long sleeve tops
14 sweaters: 3 cotton sweaters, 6 cashmere sweaters, 2 sweater ponchos, 3 cardigans

60 bottoms:
30 pant bottoms--7 skinny jeans, 6 bootcut/flared jeans, 12 pants/trousers, 2 wool shorts, 3 summer shorts
30 skirts--8 bias cut prints, 8 pencil, 8 midi, 3 A-line, 2 mini, 1 maxi

24 dresses--14 day/work (3 sleeveless, 6 short sleeve, 4 long sleeve, 1 sweater dress), 5 casual/summer dresses, 5 date/evening/cocktail dresses

27 outerwear:
15 jackets--2 suit jackets, 2 leather jackets, 1 denim jacket, 3 blazers, 2 fleece jackets, 1 snow parka, 2 rain/windbreakers, 1 shearling vest, and 1 cropped trench
12 coats--2 trench coats, 4 wool long coats, 2 wool short peacoats, 1 shearling parka, 2 puffers, and 1 raincoat

41 footwear:
30 shoes--9 pumps, 2 kitten heels, 2 ballet flats, 4 casual sandals, 2 evening sandals, 2 clogs, 2 Merrell mocs, 3 sneakers, 1 Teva, 1 Crocs, 2 flip flops
11 boots--3 heeled knee high, 2 flat knee high lace-ups, 2 heeled mid calf lace-ups, 1 short Uggs, 1 hiking boot, 1 snow boot, 1 rain boot

78 accessories:
20 belts--10 skinny, 8 wide, 2 obi
10 scarves
6 tights
12 necklaces
12 earrings
6 bracelets
15 handbags--8 purses, 3 clutches, 3 leather totes, 1 leather and velvet satchel

Here are some pictures of my post YLF-makeover closet, totally organized and ready for the world, thanks to Angie and all of you at YLF! Pretty much everything in here fits me and makes me feel fab! I think I'm about as close to "closet nirvana" right now as I've ever been in my life! You guys are the best!!!

1. The closet!
2. Ottoman and mirror
3. Boots. Cashmere sweaters and tank/camis in bin. Hats. Two eight-compartment bins, one for bracelets, one for tights.
4. Shoes. I have room for one more pair of boots and two more pairs of shoes! ;-)
5. Top rack--jewelry, belts, scarves, short sleeve tops, and long sleeve tops
6. Short and long sleeve tops, organized by color.
7. Bottom rack--skirts, pants and jackets.
8. Skirts (I'm definitely a skirt gal!)
9. Pants and jackets
10. Dresses and coats
11. Handbags (not including the totes)
12. Jewelry organizer
13. Belt organizer--wide belts on one side...
14. Skinny belts on the other
15. Hanger for obi and other non-buckle belts
16. Scarves
17. Bonus pic of my pre-YLF closet (this was actually pretty clean compared to how cluttered it usually was).

Also here is the post after my big purge, if you want to see my closet mid-way through my revamp (it's a lot fuller now, LOL!)


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WIW: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays and best wishes for a fab New Year to all of you stylish gals!

1. Plum cashmere sweater with foldover collar from Nordstrom, cognac obi belt from Nordstrom, old Ann Taylor printed silk fall floral skirt, bronze Born ballet flats.
(ETA: Whoops, didn't realize I already posted this outfit a few weeks ago with cognac boots. Oh well, it works!)
2. Family picture next to the tree (didn't have time to put up the ornaments yet, the tree just went up last night and was still wrapping all the presents at midnight, LOL!)
3. Family picture with the cats. This was the best we could get.
4. Bonus outtake--as you can see, wrangling cats and kids at the same time is near impossible!
5. Bonus pic of the kids--DD's hair is temporarily curly because it was twisted up in rubber bands and she slept in it overnight which made it curly. They had so much fun opening all their gifts from Santa this year!
6. Bonus kitty pic.


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What have you accomplished this year and what are your NY resolutions?

Happy Holidays everyone! Now that this year is drawing to a close and the new year is fast approaching, let's take stock(ing) of the State of Your Closet. :)

What have you accomplished this year? What are your fashion-related resolutions or goals for the coming year?

What have I accomplished in the last six months:
1. Joined YLF and became interested in fashion for the first time in ages.
2. Learned about correct fit, dressing the body you have, wardrobe remixing, layering, belting, accessorizing, mom-on-the-go formulas, and the importance of feeling fab in whatever you're wearing.
3. Stretched my fashion boundaries and tried lots of new looks for me, many of which have become new staples in my wardrobe (like skinny jeans).
4. Figured out my best color palette.
5. Figured out my style persona (I can't tell you enough how huge this is!)--Demure Bombshell
6. Figured out a shopping strategy that (more or less) works for me. How to navigate shopping in-store and online, how to get price adjustments, how to order items that are out of stock online, etc. etc.
7. Completed a major closet purge and reorganization.
8. Completed a major wardrobe overhaul.
9. Found a wonderful supportive community filled with new friends who make me smile and laugh and are always willing to answer all of my questions and give feedback on my K/R's and WIW's and always make me feel super fab!
10. Had lots of fun with fashion!

My New Year's resolutions:
1. Go on SYC/SYB. Haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do yet, still mulling the options--complete SYC, exceptions for lounge and casual wear, one item per month, monthly or yearly limit, etc. I just know that I won't be buying clothes at the same rapid pace I have been because my wardrobe is pretty much complete. And even though it's scary to think about SYC, that actually is a great feeling!
2. Buy a steamer. I never iron clothes--I'm not even sure if we have an ironing board anymore. I really need to get a steamer so I can de-wrinkle clothes before wearing and cut down on dry cleaning costs.
3. Make an appointment with a tailor. I have to get over my laziness and PPL anxiety and bring in all those new pants and flare jeans I've bought for a proper hemming so I can finally wear them.
4. Learn more about thrifting and how to successfully find stuff in vintage or consignment stores.
5. Figure out how to sell stuff on eBay. I have a whole collection of Paul Frank T-shirts and purses from pre-kids that I need to whittle as many of the T-shirts are now too small/short and I have way too many PF purses, plus I never carry them anymore since they don't seem to go with my new style.
6. Learn more about scarf-tying. I have several scarves now and never seem to wear them.
7. Start using StyleBook and keeping track of daily outfits and CPW. This probably won't happen but still a theoretical goal!
8. Figure out how to play against my style but in a way that works and doesn't feel contrived.
9. Keep working on creative wardrobe remixing and advanced pattern mixing.
10. Try to keep sharing what I've learned and help others here feel as fab as you make me feel! You guys are the best!
XOXO, Natalie


WIW on Hawaiian vacation

We were on vacation last week in Hawaii so I mostly just wore T shirts, shorts, and swimsuits. I don't have many pics but just for fun, here are a few (nontraditional) WIW's from last week.
1. Banana Republic berry cowl neck T, Anthro floral skirt, Fossil bag and Dansko sandals. This is the dressiest that I got there, the rest of the time was super casual.
2. Scuba diving with hubs--does scuba gear count as a WIW?
3-4. Matching Hilo Hattie Hawaiian red dress and flower leis with my daughter. DH thinks I'm totally corny for wanting to wear matching outfits with her. I even have bought matching blue Hawaiian shirts for DH & DS and we have done family pictures like that before, but he thinks it's silly and didn't want to bring his shirt this time.
5. The kids in matching Tea Collection shirts. More proof that I love matchy matchy family outfits!
6-8. Bonus pics of the kids swimming!


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What is your signature color?

Previously my signature color has always been red. It's always been my favorite color. I have a red shoes, red shirt, red skirts, red jeans, red belt, red trench coat, red dress, and an old red tote bag that I carry all the time. Now I think my signature color is becoming rust. I still like red, but I seem to be collecting a lot of new pieces in rust as well. I had a rust colored mock neck shirt that I've had for almost 20 years now and still wear it even though it's starting to fray...I'm not giving that up until I find the perfect replacement! But now I also have heels, hose, jacket, coat, skirt, sweater poncho (although that's more of a pumpkin color, but still a warm orange). I've found that it really complements my coloring so that's why I keep buying things in rust. But red will still always be my color as well!

So, what is your signature color? Is it the color that looks best on you, or your favorite color, or both? Bonus points for posting pic(s) of you in your signature color!


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What would you like to teach YLF about? And what do you want to learn?

I thought this would be a fun topic...I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Here on YLF we all have our strengths and interests and have so many diverse styles. And we all have areas we'd like to work on more. Just hypothetically, if you were going to give a little class or tutorial to the rest of us at YLF, what topic would you want to cover? Any tips you want to share right now?

Here are just a few examples off the top of my head to show you what I mean...Rae and Una could cover Urban Warrior Princess Style. Janet could do Incorporating Rocker Style. Kari and Sveta could teach how to wear Halogen Pencil Skirts. Aida could do Photo Tips. Una and Sona could do Waist Surrender. MaryK could do Advanced ALGO, Wearing Brights and Pattern Mixing. Suz could do Layering for the Cold. Astrid could do Scarves. Annagybe could do Creating your Own Unique Style. Nicoleb could do DIY Projects. Lyn and Claire could do Bargain Hunting Savvy. There's tons more I could come up with if I sat down and really thought about it. Really, everyone here I have learned so much from that there's too many to list (but thank you all!). So, what's your area of expertise or interest, and what do you wish you could learn more about?

Mine would be Demure Bombshell Style and Wearing the Autumn Palette. And I'd love to learn more about Scarves, Layering and How to Find Thrifted Treasures.

ETA: Here are some quick tips for my two classes (please add your quick tips for your own class!):
Demure Bombshell: 1) Always use a belt or tucking to define the waist. Try fitted tops or tie neck blouses tucked into pencil skirts 2) ruffled hems or ladylike details 3) stacked heel pumps with T straps or ankle straps.
Autumn Palette: 1) Use warm muted but saturated colors: rust, mustard, teal, olive, cranberry, pumpkin, plum, cinnamon, caramel, cream and chocolate brown 2) use cognac leather--boots, bag, jacket or skirt 3) find a handbag with all of the above colors and wear it every day! ;-)


WIW Holiday Party: Wild Wild West Saloon Girl!

My workplace holiday party was tonight and we had a fun theme (sorry Rae!) of Wild Wild West. Initially I posted some possible outfits here:

But then I wasn't completely happy with the looks and they didn't feel very Wild West to me. Claire had the great suggestion to do a saloon girl costume so I took that idea and ran with it. I bought a red and black striped saloon girl costume from Amazon that has a ribbon bodice and short ruffled hem in the front and longer in the back. It only had Velcro in the back to hold it closed, so I had to add a safety pin for extra security. I added some striped black Commando fishnet tights, Mia Nanette heeled black lace-up ankle booties, a black feather boa, and a red ruffled clutch. My favorite find was a Victorian bead necklace from Amazon for $19 that came with matching dangly black earrings. The necklace has a vintage-style cross. I think it really helped keep the outfit in "saloon girl" territory because the dress alone looks more like a pirate wench costume. I ended up buying pretty much everything except the purse new, but I think I'll be able to use the booties and some of the accessories with my other outfits. I put my hair in a bun and wrapped DD's headband with red roses on it around the bun.

DH went all out as well. He bought a brown oiled canvas long duster, brown cowboy hat, holster and replica six shooter (it's so heavy it looks real). He's like an excited little kid--he's been walking around the house with his toy gun and holster on the last several days. :) He also bought a mustache and a vest but they didn't come in time so he just wore a brown plaid shirt and Levi jeans. And some fake spurs for his boots so he would make ka-chink noises when he walked. And the best part was the little sheriff's pin he wore that says "Official Brothel Inspector."

I was a little worried that nobody else was going to dress up like me and that they'd all be in plaid shirts and jeans and I'd be all embarrassed to be in a "slutty" outfit. But there were several other saloon girls and madams at the party. And a lot of the guys were all dressed up like gunslingers too. It had more of a vintage feel to the party that was very fun!

Here are some pics from the party--we had lots of fun!


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WIW x3: Fall flowers, puffer and parka over skirts

Here is what I wore the last 3 days. Yay for keeping warm with my new winter coats!

1-3. Today: Cognac Lafayette 148 leather jacket, cranberry Splendid cowl neck top, Halogen ivory lace trim cami, Anthro floral midi skirt, rust Chie Mihara sandlas, Fossil floral satchel. I didn't like the way the top looked tucked in so I left it untucked but scrunched it up to the right length--makes the top look a little ruched. The cranberry, cognac and rust colors all match the colors of the flowers in the skirt. Does this color combo look OK? This is kind of a transitional look. The skirt is very spring-like but I'm trying to make it more fall-looking with the cranberry top and leather jacket. The sandals are also kind of a warmer weather item, but the colors are more fall.
4-6. Yesterday: Took the tags off the brown Lands End puffer! Wore it with a cream H&M top, Anthro leaf belt, H&M pink & brown plaid midi, herringbone tights and brown suede La Canadienne wedge boots. Here's a pic of the cream puffer for comparison, but I'm still contemplating that one. I may end up keeping both, but only if the cream one works with my wardrobe. I can already tell the brown matches a lot of my clothes!
7-8. Wednesday: Anthro olive parka, teal Classiques cowl neck sweater, Anthro teal and mustard stretchy belt, Anthro teal and olive and blue patterned pencil skirt, Fossil floral satchel, nude Easy Spirit ankle strap pumps. This is a triple pattern mix (skirt, belt, bag) so I kept the shoes plain & simple.


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